Probate Disputes &
Elder Law Litigation

Most probate attorneys focus on probate administration, the process of resolving a person’s estate and distributing their assets.  This is very different from litigating a probate dispute.  We focus on probate litigation, the resolution of disputes involving trusts and estates, and tortious conduct against Elders.

 

WHAT IS A PROBATE DISPUTE?

Probate disputes can take on many forms, including, but no limited to: 

  • Elder Financial Abuse
  • Validity of a Will, Trust, or Amendment
  • Removal of Trustee, Executor, or Administrator
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Status of an Heir or Beneficiary
  • Competency of a Decedent When a Will or Trust is Executed
  • Inheritance Claims of Surviving Spouse or Child
  • Third-party Creditor Claims

When you lose a loved one, you should be able to focus on grieving and healing.  We are here to help you resolve your dispute so that you can get back to focusing on your family. 

 

WHAT IS ELDER LAW?

California has recognized that Elders and Dependent Adults may be particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect.  As a result, laws have been adopted providing additional protections for these groups.  Generally, an Elder includes persons age 65 or older, and a Dependent Adult includes adults ages 18 through 64 who have a limitation preventing or restricting their ability to carry out normal activities or to protect their rights. 

 

ELDER FINANCIAL ABUSE

Financial abuse of an Elder or Dependent Adults includes whenever a person or business wrongfully takes, obtains, or retains the property of that person.  A wrongful taking can occur by force, fraud, or undue influence, but also may occur by means of an agreement, donative transfer, or testamentary bequest if the recipient knew or should have known that their conduct was likely to be harmful to the Elder or Dependent Adult.

PROBATE DISPUTES REQUIRE A PROBATE LITIGATOR

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MISMANAGEMENT OF TRUSTS AND ESTATES

 

BREACH OF TRUST

A trustee has a duty to administer the trust solely in the interest of the beneficiaries, to deal impartially with each beneficiary, to managing the trust property fairly, and, if the trustee is also a beneficiary, not to put their own personal interest before the interest of the other beneficiaries.  If a trustee breaches one or more of their duties, then a beneficiary or co-trustee may bring an action to compel the trustee to perform their duties, or to remove them as trustee, and for damages arising from the trustee’s breach. 

 

REMOVAL OF EXECUTOR OR ADMINISTRATOR

The personal representative (executor or administrator) of an estate has an obligation to use ordinary care and diligence in the administration of that estate.  A personal representative may be removed if they are incapable of properly executing their duties; have wrongfully neglected the estate or their responsibilities; for waste, fraud, embezzlement, mismanagement, or fraud; or for the protection of the estate or its beneficiaries.

 

POWERS OF ATTORNEY

A person who has been granted authority to act for the principal in a power of attorney is called an “attorney-in-fact”. An attorney-in-fact owes a fiduciary duty of loyalty and care to their principal.  A principal, their spouse, or relatives may petition the court to determine whether a power of attorney is in effect or has been terminated; compelling an attorney-in-fact to account for their actions; or determining that an attorney-in-fact has violated their fiduciary duties.  Occasionally, an attorney-in-fact may need to petition the court to seek approval to disobey instructions of their principal.

Probate Litigator in Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Make sure you have a Probate Litigation Attorney to handle your Probate Dispute.  Hiring the right law firm to help handle your situation as soon as possible can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.